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Friday, December 31, 2010

Come and Enjoy the Pennsylvania Ballet's Production of The Nutcracker

A Review by Sojourner Ahebee

The clock is a ticking. Today, the Pennsylvania Ballet will dance its final performance of The Nutcracker for this holiday season. Attending the Nutcracker is an annual event for me and one that never looses its aura of drama and glamour.

I attended a Saturday matinee at the Academy of Music. As usual the performance was spectacular and as always, put me in the Christmas spirit! When I reviewed this ballet last year, I retold the story of the Nutcracker, but I’m sure my readers know it by now. I wasn’t sure what to expect this year. I thought since I saw this ballet last year, it wouldn’t have the same mesmerizing affect. But to my surprise it did.

My mother accompanied me to the ballet with three of her students-Donjae, Akira and Latoya. It was their first time seeing this production and they were very much impressed. To see their smiles light up the room as they oohed and aahed at the luminous Christmas tree, the equally radiant falling snow and the jolly candy canes made my experience even more enjoyable and memorable.

The dancing is just one component of the Nutcracker experience. The choreography and artistry of the dancers is second to none. But, I always end up falling in love, again and again with the costumes and the stage design. Every costume transports you to the heart of the Nutcracker story and the stage design is majestic, mesmerizing and sets you in the middle of everything.

The dancer who stood out for me again this year and keeps me coming back every year is Jermel Johnson. He usually performs the Candy Cane role, but on the day I went he did not. This time around, he danced with the Sugar Plum Fairy, as her cavalier. OMG, he owned his performance! I was not expecting Mr. Johnson to dance this part but when he did you couldn’t stop watching him move! All in all, I hope everyone gets the chance to share with family and friends the Pennsylvania Ballet’s production of the Nutcracker. It’s a great way to say goodbye to the old year and hello to the new one. Happy New Year!

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